Meet The Staff: Annette Falvo

Annette Falvo with a couple of her quilts

A Childhood Full of Imagination

Growing up, Annette took 13 years of ballet lessons but at some point realized she lacked the natural strength and flexibility to ever become good at ballet. However, she appreciates the other lessons ballet taught her, including perseverance and discipline.

Annette’s grandmother taught her how to crochet in elementary school and she learned to sew in junior high school. She didn’t know it at the time but these interests would become a constant “thread” throughout her future.

In high school she participated in community musical theatre, having roles in The Jungle Book, The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, Oklahoma!, The King and I, and The Music Man. Annette also did choreography for some of the productions. Being community theatre, the actors had to make their own costumes. While her mom did the bulk of the work, Annette was always very excited about this part of the production…from selecting the fabric to tweaking patterns.

Live it Up Detail

Live it Up Detail

College with a Crochet Hook

She attended college at the University of Utah and didn’t declare a major for the first few years but worked to fulfill her liberal education requirements. It was there that she realized how much she enjoys math.

Annette also took some inspiration from her dad who spent his career as an electrical engineer in the aerospace industry. She declared her major as Industrial Engineering, with an emphasis on Operations Research. It was during this time that Annette found solace in the crochet skills that her grandmother had taught her as a child. She couldn’t afford a sewing machine but she could afford a crochet hook and some yarn so one year she made granny square Christmas stockings for all of her friends!

Sunshine and Daisies Detail

Sunshine and Daisies Detail

Sewing Machine Magic

After graduating with her degree, Annette went to work for the Department of Energy in Salt Lake City. She worked there for 10 years doing hydropower resource analysis. She married her husband one year after graduating from college. On their first Christmas together he gave her a sewing machine…something that she had longed for! In the evenings Annette sewed a lot of the clothes that she then wore to work.

Motherhood came next and when Annette’s girls were still young, her husband received a job offer in Monument, Colorado. The family packed up and headed to Colorado. After much contemplation, they decided that Annette being a stay-at-home mom worked best for their family. For her, those years were surprisingly demanding, and infinitely satisfying! She loved sewing for her girls (everything from Halloween costumes to homecoming dresses). Throughout the years, Annette and her girls tried all kinds of arts and crafts, including scrapbooking, tole painting, pottery, beading, soap making, wool felting, and tie-dying. Annette found that her favorite interests in crochet and sewing worked well with what was needed at home and she soon learned a new skill, which was knitting. After all, she could always do a little hand stitching or yarn work while she waited in the car pickup line!

Bus Token Quilt Detail

Bus Token Quilt Detail

The Call of Quilting

Once her girls were grown up, Annette got a part-time job at a small fabric boutique in Monument, Colorado where she met quilters from both the traditional and modern genres. She joined a couple of guilds and soon realized the infinite possibilities that quilting offers.

For Annette, quilting is a place where her eclectic assortment of interests can merge. She enjoys the mathematical aspect quilting requires and she also like to think of ways to incorporate unexpected design elements. (Many of her ideas end up in an orphan block box…their fate TBD!)

Bus Token Quilt by Annette Falvo

Bus Token Quilt by Annette Falvo

Bus Token

Annette is a prolific quilter and quilt designer. Bus Token is a quilt she made for her dad using vintage bus tokens that her grandfather collected during World War II. During the war, her grandpa was the Stationmaster at the Union Pacific train station in Salt Lake City. As the soldiers traveled through he would trade them a bus token from their town for one from Salt Lake City. That way the soldiers could hop on a local bus and see the sights during their layover. He managed to acquire quite a lot of bus tokens, which eventually ended up in Annette’s dad’s possession.

Bus Token Quilt Detail

Bus Token Quilt Detail

When Annette planned the quilt she really wanted to use a mariner’s compass to represent the compasses we often see inlaid into the tile floors of train stations. The “linked” blocks represent the way Americans joined together during World War II to win the war, and they also represent the natural way her grandfather could become friends with anyone. The parallel “tracks” and diamonds that make the border represent train tracks and stations. While every step of this quilt was a joy to make, Annette favorite part was the very last step when she attached the bus tokens. She treated each token as a sign of appreciation for the soldier who had once possessed it. She thanked that soldier for his sacrifice, wondered about his thoughts and feelings as he went to war, and hoped he got home safe.

Live It Up Quilt by Annette Falvo

Live It Up

Live It Up was made for a fabric challenge that Annette participates in each year at the Utah Quilt Show and Marketplace. The fabric used is from the Thrive Collection by Natalia Bonner for Moda Fabrics. She had some purple, green and blue wool in her fabric collection that she thought would compliment the challenge, so she used the wool for the butterflies and flowers. Annette went a little crazy on the hand embroidery but she really wanted all those butterflies to have a unique personality! It won a third place ribbon! At the end of the show, the quilt was auctioned and the proceeds went to Sew Much Hope, a nonprofit organization that Annette loves to support!

Live it Up Detail

Live it Up Detail

Recent Designs

Annette has recently designed two quilt patterns that will be published in upcoming issues of our magazines. Sunshine and Daisies. will be featured in the March/April 2019 issue of McCall’s Quilting. It is a beautiful spring quilt with exquisite detail created by dimension flowers and Yo-yo’s.

Sunshine and Daisies Quilt by Annette Falvo

Sunshine and Daisies Quilt by Annette Falvo

S’Mores is a delightful quilt made using pre-cuts and perfect for snuggling up in around the campfire. You can find this pattern in the upcoming July/August 2019 issue of PreCut Patchwork.

S’Mores Quilt by Annette Falvo

S’Mores Quilt by Annette Falvo

Working as a technical editor for Love of Quilting, Precut Patchwork and Easy Quilts constantly fortifies Annette’s creative impulses. The phenomenal talent of our staff and designers makes this a truly amazing job!

Explore more of Annette’s work:

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